8 easy and efficient ways to clean your family’s water bottles

woman hiking and holding purple water bottle

Using reusable water bottles is great for the environment, and is much more cost-effective than constantly buying plastic water bottles. A win-win, right? Well, yes. But with a reusable water bottle comes the responsibility of cleaning it, which should be done daily, contrary to what most people actually do.

No one likes to tip their water bottle back only to discover that the water smells funky, or that the bottle they’ve been using for weeks has some strange film or gunk that’s been growing in it for who knows how long.

And so we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to easily and efficiently clean those reusable bottles so that you can drink all the fresh-tasting water your heart desires.

1. Vinegar

Using vinegar as a cleaning solution is a good option because it’s a great stain remover, despite its pungent smell. Plus it’s an all-natural cleaner that’s perfect for killing germs and bacteria. First, dilute a couple tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water. Next, pour the solution into your bottle and let it sit for 15 minutes. Grab a cleaning tool such as a pipe cleaner, bottle brush or standard sponge and clean it out!

2. Baking Soda

You can get the same results by using a paste created by mixing together baking soda and water. This is a good alternative for people who dislike the smell of vinegar.


3. Bleach

Germaphobes will appreciate the power of just a little bit of bleach. A little bleach goes a very long way. You’re guaranteed a squeaky clean bottle after a rinse with a bleach solution. To make this, mix one tablespoon of bleach per one quart of water. Fill your bottle, close the top and allow to sit for two minutes. Pour out the solution and allow the bottle to dry out completely. Rinse before using.

4. Cleansing Tablets

For a very simple solution, buy water bottle cleansing tablets from a company like Camelbak, or opt for your basic effervescent denture cleansing tablets from Efferdent, for example. All you need to do is fill your bottle with water, drop the tablet in and wait for it to dissolve, Then, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and proceed to drink free of worry.

5. Dish Detergent

For a general cleaning, all you really need is detergent and warm water. If you prefer not to hand wash your water bottle, go ahead and separate the top from the main bottle and stick both pieces through a cycle in your dishwasher. Be sure to dry it thoroughly afterward.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

Fill your bottle with hydrogen peroxide or straight white vinegar and let it sit for around 10 minutes. Rinse and let it dry.

7. Boiling Water

If you have one of those metal water bottles, fill it with boiling water and let sit for several hours. Afterward, take a bottle brush and clean the inside with soap. Nothing except a clean bottle will be left.


8. Pipe Cleaner

One of the major gripes about reusable bottles is cleaning the reusable straw. So make things easier on yourself and pour dish soap right onto a pipe cleaner and push it through the straw. Rinse throughout. Just like that, your straw is good as new. Other tricks include using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to clean hard to reach spaces.

Which tactic has worked best for you?

Cleaning & Organization, Health, Home, Tips & Advice

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About the Author
Chelsea Davis
Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at www.chelseadavis.com.

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